Reasons Given by ECEC Professionals for (Not) Being in Contact With Parents During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Faculty/Professorship: Early Childhood Education and Care 
Author(s): Hemmerich, Fabian ; Erdem Möbius, Hande ; Burghardt, Lars  ; Anders, Yvonne
Publisher Information: Bamberg : Otto-Friedrich-Universität
Year of publication: 2022
Pages: 21
Source/Other editions: Frontiers in Psychology, 21 (2021), 21. S. - ISSN: 1664-1078
is version of: 10.3389/fpsyg.2021.701888
Year of first publication: 2021
Language(s): English
Licence: Creative Commons - CC BY - Attribution 4.0 International 
URN: urn:nbn:de:bvb:473-irb-545634
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the German government took drastic measures and ordered the temporary closure of early childhood education and care services (apart from emergency care). Most pedagogical professionals in early childhood education and care (ECEC) settings were unable to provide institutional care for children during this period, and thus experienced difficulties fulfilling their legally mandated professional obligation to educate children. Building on the importance of professional–parent collaboration, this study investigates the reasons ECEC professionals gave for (not) being in contact with parents during the pandemic. The database comprises a nationwide survey conducted between April and May 2020 (n = 2,560 ECEC professionals). The results show that the vast majority of respondents were in contact with parents; their stated motives include providing informational or emotional support for parents and children, maintaining a relationship, or inquiring about family wellbeing. The explanations for not being in contact with parents include already existing contact with parents by another member of the ECEC staff, an employer-mandated contact ban, problems on the parents’ side, or personal reasons. We find some differences between managers in center-based childcare, pedagogical employes in center-based childcare, and professionals in family based childcare. Practical implications concerning professional–parent collaboration and the temporary closure of ECEC services are discussed.
GND Keywords: Kleinkinderziehung; COVID-19; Pandemie
Keywords: COVID-19, early childhood education and care, ECEC professionals, ECEC managers, professional role understanding, cooperation with parents, social support, pandemic
DDC Classification: 370 Education  
RVK Classification: DS 7130   
Type: Article
Release Date: 14. July 2022

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